Famers are being advised to follow best practice chemical use when combatting mice numbers, which have now reached plague proportions in some areas of South Australia.
Under the Agricultural and Veterinary Products (Control of Use) Act 2002 it is an offence to NOT follow these specific mandatory instructions when an approved chemical label includes instructions that contain the words MUST, MUST NOT, DO NOT, NOT TO BE USED or USE ONLY.
The legislation requires that:
- rates specified on the label must not be exceeded
- unregistered products or "home brews" must not be used to control mice.
It is critical that farmers follow best practice for chemical use especially when under pressure to enable sowing and protect emerging crops.
All chemicals used must also include labels that describe the way in which a chemical must be used, along with instructions on the rates at which a bait can be distributed per hectare (for example, 1kg/ha) or instructions such as "DO NOT apply bait in a trail".
Quotes attributable to PIRSA Manager Rural Chemical Operations, Michael McManus
It is imperative that farmers take note of the mandatory label instructions otherwise it can result in serious off-target impacts to other species if the bait is not applied correctly.
I encourage all farmers to follow all the mandatory directions and instructions on chemical labels and further ensure their neighbours and peers are also following the rules, so that everyone is accountable for their rural chemical use.
Recent reports to PIRSA Rural Chemical Operations from the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) have raised concerns about compliance with mandatory instruction requirements on mice bait product labels.
If someone is reported to be using a chemical in a manner contrary to mandatory label directions, they could be subjected to regulatory audits and investigations by the PIRSA Rural Chemicals Operations.
If the audit or investigation confirms a breach of the regulatory requirements, the person could be prosecuted and if found guilty, could face fines of up to $35 000 for each offence.
To report any misuse/noncompliance contact Rural Chemical Operations 1300 799 684 or PIRSA.Ruralchemicals@sa.gov.au